Spicer Asks To Borrow $ 5 Million To Buy Bruce Freeman Rail Trail Land
FRAMINGHAM, MA – For the second time in 2021, Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer is offering a way to purchase an old railroad track to use as the final stop on the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (BFRT).
Spicer will ask city council on Tuesday to issue about $ 5 million in bonds to purchase 3.37 miles of old railroad between Highway 9 at Tower Street and the Sudbury City Line. This spring, Spicer requested the money from U.S. Representative Katherine Clark, but was turned down because the railroad track project was not eligible.
When completed, the BFRT will stretch 25 miles from Lowell to Framingham. Much of the trail is already completed through Concord. Plans to continue the trail through Sudbury are underway, and construction on a section of the Concord Line to Highway 20 may go to tender next spring.
In addition to finding a source of funding, Framingham recently tried to find a way to continue negotiations with CSX, which owns the city’s 3.37 mile railroad.
In November, Framingham asked the federal Surface Transportation Board (STB) – the agency that regulates freight railways – to extend the time limit for negotiating a purchase by one year. This request was rejected by the STB. At the same time, CSX placed the 3.37 mile property under the ownership of a subsidiary, thereby indefinitely extending the negotiation time frame.
In addition to the $ 5 million bail clearance, Spicer told advisers in a memo that she was trying to find other sources of funding, including from Clark’s office and an additional $ 1 million from the state. .